• Prime Minister Vladimir Putin's United Russia suffered a setback in Russia's parliamentary election on Sunday, polling less than half of the votes and losing its overwhelming majority in the lower house.

  • With 96 per cent of the ballots counted, United Russia received 49.54 per cent of the votes, down from more than 64 per cent four years ago. It is set to lose almost a quarter of seats in the 450-member State Duma, and will see its 315 seats reduced to 238 seats. This will deny the Kremlin the freedom to change the Constitution at will.